HB 2697 Prohibits bias incidents in schools

HB 2697 VOTE: NO
Signed into Law by Gov Brown on 06/03/21
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB2697

Chief Sponsors: Rep. Smith (R, HD-1), Gomberg (D, HD-10), Fahey (D, HD 14), and Sen. Manning Jr (D, SD-7).

This bill requires education providers to prohibit bias incidents and the use or display of nooses, symbols of neo-Nazi ideology, or the battle flag of the Confederacy on school property or in an education program.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
A bias incident that includes derogatory language or behavior, which includes criminal investigation or prosecution is impossible or inappropriate, and does not educate or train in responsibility, but trains by fear mongering silencing freedom of speech and expression.

Limited Government
The state legislature trying to define what constitutes an infraction of bias and display of hate without a complete definition is beyond their authority muzzling freedom of speech. Neo-Nazi is racist and is already covered by law. What other biases is allowed under this wording that isn’t directly stated? Establishes exception for displays that align with statewide academic content standards. Requires education providers to adopt policies and establishes policy requirements. Requires education providers to investigate bias incidents. Establishes noncompliance as violation of discrimination in education statute codified in ORS 659.850 et seq. Establishes sanctions for noncompliance, including possible loss of state funding.

Local Control
Places an undue burden on school faculties and administrations. Such bias displays should be used for training experiences to be a meaningful lesson and not disciplinary excuses. Policy and procedures for any incidents of bullying based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or disability is already covered by law.


  1. Kathleen Johnson says:

    Please vote no on HB 26978. This just causes a lot of extra work for schools when they need to be concentrating on educating children. There is no definition as to what is considered bias. Racism is already outlawed.

  2. David Klaus says:

    This bill is yet another attempt by the “Woke” cancel culture to muzzle those they disagree with. When bias incidents do happen we must consider that these are children, not adults and as such, do not have the necessary discernment to fully understand the implications of their actions. These should be teachable moments not prosecutorial ones.

  3. Jeremy Garbina says:


  4. Marlene Pickens says:

    Leave the schools alone. Free Speech is supreme, and our schools have enough work and regulations to worry about. VOTE NO.

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